Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Obesity Drug Shows Promise in Tests

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. said its obesity-drug candidate Contrave met its main goals in three late-stage clinical trials, and also surpassed a Food and Drug Administration requirement for effectiveness. Patients who took Contrave had significantly greater weight loss than those who took a placebo, and the drug reduced other risk factors like waist circumference, the company said. For diabetes patients, the drug also diminished blood sugar levels.

In the two trials with non-diabetes patients, Orexigen said 48 percent and 56.3 percent of patients, respectively, reported weight loss of at least 5 percent. That compared to 16.4 percent and 17.1 percent for the placebo patients. That more than met FDA testing guidelines that require at least a third of patients must lose at least 5 percent of their body weight. At least twice as many patients must reach the 5 percent goal compared with those who take a placebo.
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